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Virgin Trains buzzing to support Manchester’s Bee in the City

Press Release   •   Apr 16, 2018 09:00 BST

Ady Crymble, Customer Experience Manager for Virgin Trains in Manchester, pictured alongside one of the 80 bees that will grace the city centre this summer. Pic courtesy of David Oakes Photography.

Virgin Trains has been announced as Presenting Partner for this year’s Bee in the City in Manchester. The nine-week long event will be one of the largest mass participation public art events ever held in the North West, expected to attract around 1m visitors to the city centre.

Over 80 individually designed Bees will go on display through streets, parks and public spaces in Manchester this summer taking people on a journey of discovery through the city between July-September. Visitors will be able to follow the free, accessible trail, looking out for the two Virgin Trains Bees, with help from the Bee in the City App, unlocking exciting rewards in the process.

“We’re incredibly excited to BEE on board,” enthused Ady Crymble, Customer Experience Manager for Virgin Trains in Manchester. “It will bring added life and energy to the city centre, connecting the wider community and showcasing all that is good about Manchester.

“It will provide a massive boost for the local community, putting a smile on peoples’ faces whilst raising money for such a worthy cause, and rest assured we will be looking to add a bit of Virgin Trains fun to the celebration this summer.”

Virgin Trains employs close to 700 people in Manchester, operating 47 services every day (Monday – Saturday) from Manchester Piccadilly to and from London, carrying over 10 million customers each year, providing a vital link to help strengthen local economies.

Sally-Ann Wilkinson, Director, Wild in Art said: "We are thrilled to have Virgin Trains on board as a Bee in the City Presenting Partner. Thousands of families will be travelling to Manchester on Virgin Trains from July to September to enjoy what will be one of the biggest and most spectacular public art events ever. Virgin Trains is the perfect partner to take our trail-goers on a creative journey of discovery this summer!”

The Bees will make their final flight at a glittering auction in October, leaving a lasting legacy for various local charitable causes via the Lord Mayor of Manchester’s ‘We Love MCR’ charity. 

About Virgin Trains

Stagecoach and Virgin are working in partnership to operate the East Coast and West Coast inter-city routes under the Virgin Trains brand. Together, they are on track to revolutionise rail travel across the UK.

The combined network connects some of the nation’s most iconic destinations including Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, York and London.

Virgin Trains is committed to delivering a high speed, high frequency service, offering shorter journey times, more comfortable travel and excellent customer service. Customers consistently rate Virgin Trains as one of the top long-distance rail franchise operators in the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) commissioned by industry watchdog, Transport Focus.

On the East Coast route, £140m is being invested to create a more personalised travel experience. We have already invested over £40m in our existing fleet, including £21m refurbishing interiors and £16m towards improving the engines of our trains. Customers can now benefit from 48 additional services between Edinburgh and London every week, and an extra 22 Saturday services between Leeds and London – a total of 1.74 million additional seats since May 2015. 2018 will see the introduction of completely new Azuma trains being built in the UK by Hitachi.

The West Coast route has a proud record of challenging the status quo - from introducing tilting Pendolino trains, to a pioneering automated delay repay scheme and becoming the first franchised rail operator to offer m-Tickets for all ticket types.

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Press Office: 0845 000 3333.

About Wild in Art:

Wild in Art is one of the leading producers of spectacular, mass-appeal public art events, which connect businesses, artists and communities through the power of creativity and innovation. Since 2008 Wild in Art has animated cities across the world including Sydney, Melbourne, Cape Town and São Paulo, and created trails for the London 2012 Olympics, the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Historic Royal Palaces and Penguin Random House.

About the Lord Mayor of Manchester’s We Love MCR Charity

We Love MCR Charity improves the lives and life chances of Manchester people. The charity aims to support the residents of Manchester who are in the greatest need to reach their full potential. Every penny raised stays in Manchester, helping to bring positive benefits to communities throughout the city.